Celebrating the New Year, little did we know, we are now entering a new phase of the world. Little did we know things are now going to change, probably, forever.
But now that things have changed, we cannot do anything but adapt to the new normal. Fret not. We are not painting a hopeless picture here. The world and its inhabitants, i.e., you, me, and everyone around, knows how to live and survive. We have made it so far into time, space, and advancements. Together we will figure out a way out of this suffocating and demotivating situation too.
In actuality, by now, many growth-loving and optimistic minds have thought-out ways to step out, which are now surfacing as trends and predictions. Some of these are already on the roll, while some are expected in the upcoming year.
Here, in this post, we will look into both of these in great detail, especially regarding the workplaces. About why workplace trends hold the best of our attention, well, you know, an average person spends one-third of their lifetime at work. And that equates to about 90,000 hours.
Hence, it’s a significant aspect of life. Now, let’s get straight into it!
Changes in Action
When thinking about work, what image pops into your mind? Naturally, you would think about men and women getting up early, dressing up in suits, and sitting in front of computers with the rest of the colleagues in a large room, also called the office.
Perhaps, it would be better if you associate this imagery with history, the past, not the present. The existence of Coronavirus has changed our lifestyle and work practices in multiple ways. One of these is the adaption to remote work.
Isolation, social distancing, and quarantine have turned masses of employees to remote work. Now, people sit in their home offices and complete projects.
Did you know that the remote workforce in the US has risen by 44-percent? Well, times have surely changed. And, the normal is work from home now.
Some companies have altered their policies to hiring full-time remote workers too. The flexible work hours and getting more time for family has surely made remote work popular.
However, some people and organizations are still looking forward to a change in things. Let’s evaluate future work trends!
Top 10 Trends for 2021
1. Safety – A new priority
Masks, sanitizers, and SOPs – one can probably forget their car key these days but not these. The fear of a tiny little microorganism has pushed us into a world where the protective gear almost feels like part of our body. Although it may sound strange, this safety is highly necessary.
With that said, safety and cleanliness concerns have become a primary concern in workplaces. Businesses and companies are now keeping a separate budget for regular hygiene maintenance and protective supplies. In 2021, we expect this temporary expenditure to take up its identity as a permanent need on official grounds. Thus, increasing a business’s financial needs.
Moreover, even on the employee’s end, safety has become a priority concern. Today, employees would gladly reject a job that does not guarantee the proper implementation of SOPs.
2. Improvement of Virtual Communication
Emails and messages-these were the two primary methods of work communication a few years back. But, with the world moving online, maintaining fluid communication is becoming more of a challenge.
During the pandemic, a lot of new instant messaging apps and video conference apps have popped up. However, while this eases the problem, it puts a lot of pressure on employees to reply immediately. Also, the endless threads of conversations are difficult to handle.
In the future, we see better and innovative communication technologies arriving in the market. Team chat apps, online meeting-centered technologies, and cloud software will become essential work tools.
3. The Entrance of Gen Z
Unlike the previous generations, Gen Z grew in a fast, revolutionary environment when technology was quickly taking over the world. As a result, these people have a more smooth and fluid behavior with technology, making them efficient.
By 2021, Gen Z will start entering the marketplace in masses. If you belong to the previous generations, it might sound strange. However, Gen Z will expect the workplaces to become more digitally equipped. They would require more integrated and advanced workplaces to unlock their potential fully.
If provided the right circumstances, the generation can take world affairs one step ahead, creating the future we envision. Hence, we expect to see a lot of companies and organizations altering their work methods to fulfill the demands of Gen Z by 2021.
4. Increased Workload
As mentioned earlier, the workforce now has to settle into the digital workplace as well. For that very reason, the employees do not only have their regular tasks to deal with but they also have other additional tasks. For example, they may have to log into a certain portal to mark their presence and then log out. Unfortunately, by 2021 employees will have to look into incorporating this into their schedules and make it a part of their routine. So, the workload is only going to increase.
5. Rise in Demand for Soft Skills
Another change coming in workplace trends 2021 is an increased emphasis on soft skills when recruiting. Previously, companies have paid immense focus on hard skills in their employees for better performance.
However, over time, it has been evident that soft skills play an equal role besides hard skills. The ability to analytically-think, write well, speak fluently, and be decisive helps strengthen human connections in a team.
The strengthened teams and workforce have a much better performance than hard skills specific only. Well, employers are likely to recruit candidates based on soft skills in the upcoming future.
6. Employee Well-being Matters
One issue on which the workers have stressed upon over a decade is mental well-being. Working on a strict routine can burden mental health.
For the past few years, rapidly changing technologies have pressurized these workers even more. Consequently, causing problems like burnout, fatigue, and depression. The lack of efficiency in workers eventually leads to a decline in company performance.
However, recent studies have demonstrated how employers can alter workplaces to maintain employee well-being. One study conducted by North America revealed that adding natural lights and increasing outdoor exposure in workplaces improved employee well-being by 78%. In return, these happier employees improved performance by 70% and commitment by 54%.
In 2021, the workplaces are likely to become more employee-friendly. Employers will invest more in making the environment healthier and happier.
7. Hourly Workforce Gain Greater Importance
Well, before COVID-19, the hourly workforce has a rather insignificant rank. Opportunities for them were rather scarce. However, in today’s world, hourly workers do not only have more opportunities, but they also have greater pay. Recently, a political movement, i.e., “Fight for 15” increased the minimum wage to $15 in about 15 cities. We expect this figure to grow in 2021.
8. Gender Equality Wins
Undeniably, gender equality has never been an old topic, especially in concern with work. However, 2020 has remained a revolutionary year in which people have discovered the courage to raise their voices.
So, the topic is not going away in 2021. Instead, the possibilities of it getting resolved are becoming high. Having women in business can increase profits drastically. One study showed a 15-percent increase by a rise in women employees.
There are several other benefits too, which include unlocking the pool of women talent. In 2021 trends, we expect a rise in women’s employment and a reduction in the gender pay gap.
9. Emphasis on Skill Development
Sitting in confinement, a majority of people have realized the limitation of their skill set. And, with nothing to do, these people have worked to increase it and expand their potential.
Yes, it is true that the masses have suffered from job loss and financial constraints. However, even in the crisis, the realization of how limited their skillset set is has pushed them to unlock the true capacity.
In 2021, we see the workforce and places more aware of the skills than mere performance. People are likely to evaluate the worth based on the vastness of these skills than the results only.
The rise in skill development demand will also boost the organizations and companies working on it. Skill development centers and training programs are likely to increase drastically. Finance-oriented companies will also play a prominent role. Loan-giving organizations, such as Loanza UK, can provide financial assistance to those seeking skill development.
10. Integration of technology
Since our childhood, we have heard about technology and advancements taking over the workplaces. And, to a majority, it was a sinister idea to snatch away their jobs.
However, with remote work and current technologies, we are likely to see more virtual assistants in workplaces. According to a study, over 1-billion people will depend on Al-powered virtual assistants to get the work done by 2025. So, we are likely to have a lot more technology in 2021!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can remote work lead to pay cuts?
With such drastic changes in the work mechanism and schedules, the pay scale is one of the rising concerns amongst employees. Although most workplaces are now operating online, the workload is more or less the same. But still, the word is in the air; companies are going to reconsider pay scales. With commute expenses eliminated and productivity decreased, they find themselves bound to do so.
Quite unfortunately, this has already come into effect. Several employees suffered due to a massive pay cut. However, as we head towards 2021, this pattern may change as the world achieves some stability in this regard. Most companies are already striving to level up their budget and provide their skilled employees with the sums they deserve.
Q. Why are many people shifting fields?
During quarantine, one thing that many people have had in abundance is time. Alone and restricted, people have gotten the time to look into themselves and discover.
For a long, a majority of the workforce has been following a 9 to 5 routine in a corporate firm. However, it was all to get the bills paid and not to keep themselves happy.
In confinement, masses of people have found the courage to make the big decision and shift into a field of interest. Woodworking, gardening, culinary-several fields have witnessed a rise of new talent in 2020.
Another reason that has pushed people into shifting their fields is a better salary package and benefits. COVID-19 has strained everyone financially, and some people have used up all the little resources they had. So, to keep the house going, people have left their old jobs for better-paying ones.